18 December 2010

A Busy Saturday

Today was a super busy Saturday. We woke up and Tim cooked some yummy french toast for breakfast. We found out that Kona's dog school was canceled and headed out with the kids for a surprise. Earlier this week, Tim and I were talking about some holiday traditions that we would like to start for our family and we decided that we wanted to start going up to Hardware Ranch each year. We didn't tell the kids where we were going, but we all bundled up and headed up Blacksmith Fork canyon in the snow.

The kids didn't figure out where we were going until we were about 5 minutes from the ranch, but when they realized the plan, they got pretty excited. We got up to the lodge, checked it out and bought our sleigh ride tickets.

The lodge has some cool displays about elk, as well as other local animals. There's lots of hands on stuff, which I think Rylan got a kick out of. They also had a full size elk that is always fun to check out.

There was a close call with a sibling beating incident.

Then we headed down to the sleigh ride. It was snowing really good and was beautiful, but wasn't as cold as I thought it would be. We hopped on the sleigh that was driven by a pair of Percheron horses named Scottie and Norman.

Then we headed out to the herd. There was a wildlife management person on our sleigh who was counting the herd, and apparently, there were about 450 elk in the meadow while we were out on the sleigh. There were alot of cows and calves, but only a few bulls. I think Tim and I saw maybe 5 spikes, and then a couple of big bulls. We were about 10-15 feet from the elk, which was super cool. Here are a few pictures of the herd.

The sleigh ride was snowy and fun, but definitely not long enough. I told Tim that I'm going to have to go back in January when the herd is bigger. I guess they get up to 700 elk when it's really cold and snowy. Kyra's favorite part of the day was the sleigh ride, Rylan liked watching the snow fall, and Tim loved the big elk too. Kyra asked me my favorite part and I said it was living in this amazingly beautiful place where you can drive up a gorgeous snowy canyon and seeing deer and how lucky are we to be able to ride a sleigh out into the middle of an elk herd. It was definitely fun.

We headed back to Hyrum and stopped for the best breadsticks ever and then we rushed home to let Kona out and feed him lunch. Then it was off to Grandpa Elwood's to spread some holiday cheer. We decided that he needed a Christmas tree, as well as some gifts. The kids decorated the tree and Grandpa Elwood opened his gifts.

Then we settled in for a good visit. At some point, Rylan got a hold of the camera. Here's how he views the world.

After our visit, we headed back to Logan for a "southern barbecue" with my family. My dad and two brothers cooked a 90lb hog. My mom added some delicious macaroni and cheese. We brought some corn and some chocolate chip cookies and gingerbread cookies that I made yesterday. It was alot of fun and definitely a great way to end the day.

Oh, except that I had to run to the mall to pick up a small surprise for the sixth day of Christmas... Yep, it was a super busy Saturday, but I think we had alot of fun. I think this may be a new Elwood tradition.